In an earlier Hiring Tip or two, I mentioned a learning experience I had while visiting my local Barnes and Nobles book store.
Every so often, I make it a point to check out the “Hiring” section at the book store. What I find almost always surprises me. Shelves…yes, shelves of books devoted to two subjects:
- How to write a great résumé and
- How to do exceptionally well in the hiring interview
If I do a rough count, I’ll see 60-80 books on these two topics. And, as time rolls along, new titles show up.
How to write a great résumé and how to do exceptionally well in the hiring interview.
On the one hand, we do like to see prospective employees come prepared. Preparation is good. But, from the viewpoint of those making hiring decisions, we also want to find out what’s really going on with our applicants.
How will they respond to different situations in the workplace?
Are they honest?
Are they trustworthy?
Are they dependable?
Many of the Hiring Tips were written to help you get the “straight scoop” from your applicants. To ask them questions they perhaps were not anticipating so you can make better hiring decisions.
So, let’s see if we can do that with this tip as well.
Both of you will have a copy of the résumé in front of you. Ask the applicant to “walk you through” each part of it. Obviously you can skip over the basic contact information, but after that, let’s get some feedback on:
Interests and Activities
Granted, résumés can be different, but most résumés will address the above subjects.
Do some people “pad” their résumés? Well, we all know the answer to that. I couldn’t tell you what percentage do this, but it’s conceivable that those who pad their résumé do so because they believe others are doing the same thing.
The key to the effectiveness of this tip is your observation of the applicant as he walks you through each part of the résumé—his résumé!
In other words, when you ask him to amplify a particular point of experience on the résumé, watch him carefully as he goes over this with you.
The honest candidate should be able to easily and comfortably clarify or expand on any part of the résumé. The candidate who padded or exaggerated a particular point (or points) will have some uneasiness describing it in further detail.
Unfortunately there are a few who can look you in the face and lie with incredible ease. They won’t flinch. But you shouldn’t see too many of this kind of person.
Essentially you will see those who honestly filled in every detail of their résumé and they will have no difficulty walking you through it. And you will see those who are somewhat or even very uncomfortable giving you the supporting information that you request.
If you decide to use this tip, you’ll find your powers of observation improving the more you pay close attention to how your applicant communicates to you.
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